By EVAN REID
FLORENCE, Wis. - Two men who had been accused of committing a string of burglaries in Wisconsin were found guilty due to no contest pleas on amended charges and sentenced to jail time in Florence County Court.
Brandon Lesser, 24, of Kingsford and Corey Willis, 20, of Florence each pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor count of entry into a locked coin box, one misdemeanor count of theft of movable property - less than $2,500, and one felony count of criminal damage to property - more than $2,500.
The felony count of criminal damage to property was amended from a previous felony count of burglary of a building or dwelling.
One felony count of burglary or a building or dwelling and two misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property were dismissed but read in for sentencing purposes.
Both men were sentenced to serve two five-month jail terms consecutively, with credit for time already served, followed by three years of probation.
Lesser and Willis must also pay a joint restitution of $8,286.
The charges stem from a series of incidents which occurred in late January and early February.
The Bait Station in Aurora, Wis. was broken into on Jan. 21 and about $60 was taken from a cash box, according to the incident report from the Florence County Sheriff's Office.
The Gold Nugget in Spread Eagle, Wis. was broken into during the night of Jan. 22 or early morning Jan. 23. Money was taken from a cash register and an ATM on the premises was damaged, though the safe inside was uncompromised, the report states.
On Feb. 5 the Bait Station was targeted again, as well as Tom & Jo's Liquor, another Aurora business. Approximately $120 in cash, lottery tickets, and cigarettes were taken from Tom & Jo's after a window near the counter was broken.
Evan Reid's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.